Biggin Hill History – 1905

Biggin Hill History – 1905

Within 10 years of land being available for sale, the popularity of Biggin Hill had grown. The tea and refreshment rooms were a regular haunt of cyclists from nearby West Wickham, Hayes and Keston. The bicycles would be left at the refreshment rooms while they went for walks, Blackberry and Sloe picking. Afternoon tea would be taken on returning and then it would be a pleasant cycle down the hills back home.

Mr Jesse Terry is listed in Kelley’s directory for 1905 as a “land agent”. He was appointed by Mr. Dougal as the official manager and estate agent.

Mrs Harriet Chitty is listed as a shopkeeper, selling all kinds of goods for the locals who were mainly farmers and fruit growers. Mrs Chitty started her business in 1897 at ‘Rose Cottage’, Main Road and was one of the first general stores to open in Biggin hill. Biggin Hill stores continued training until the 1950’s. A picture and bill – head of the stores is shown below.

Mr Edward David Abraham sold Groceries and material at the Post Office. The locals would not have had high incomes and would probably therefore make their own cloths and bake their own bread.

The Maps of 1909 show how the land was divided and numbered and how much Biggin Hill had developed since the earlier maps of 1868.

Another important store in Biggin Hill was Temple’s store. Mr. Thomas Temple opened his first store in about 1908. This store was made from sheds and tents and was situated at the corner of Polesteeple Hill and Stock Hill. A small car park is now on this site. Within a short time temples had moved up the hill to the corner of Hillcrest Road and Polesteeple Hill, which has since been named Temple Road. Temples were to stay in business until the 1960’s when the shop and family home next door were knocked down to make way for housing development. Temples had a claim to “supply your every want”. If they did not have the goods in stock, the were obtained in a short time.

Temples would probably have served people at the northern end of Biggin Hill, Whereas the people living towards the southern end would have had Hall’s Store at Westerham Hill to shop at.

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4 thoughts on “Biggin Hill History – 1905”

  1. I am a Great Granddaughter of Thomas Temple. I can remember, as a very small girl, being allowed to pat the butter. This was a good lesson as later I went on to have a small holding and made my own Jersey butter.
    I can remember my Great Grandfather as a very tall, thin gentleman with thick white hair my Great Grandmother was the opposite being small and round wearing navy or black dresses with tiny white spots on them. They were the kindest, sweetest people and I adored them. I am trying to put a family history together for my three sons and would be glad to hear any memories people might have. Are the spitfire and hurricane still by the gates of the air base?

    1. Hello

      I am trying to locate a house called Ringlands where we think my grandad was born.

      The 1911 cenus shows your ggrandad living at No 2 Stocks Hill, and in the 1921 census at a house called Marne.I was aware there was a fire at the house around 1914, so this is perhaps why it was renamed ?

      I ask this as in the 1911 census the house next door is called Stockhill Villa, and was occupied by the Blake family, who by 1921 were living at No 1 Coronation Terrace, and a new family called the Terrys were living in a house called Ringland, which I am guessing was renamed from Stockhill Villa, but need some evidence of this, and was next door.

      The Terry family are the family responsible for selling the plots of land the houses were built on

      Ringland and Marne are next to each other in the 1939 cenus, so it seems right.Was the Temples home in 1911, the same house as 1921 ?

      I am trying to find a picture of ringland, and if I have the right house, it is shown next down to the burnt down temple store, but you may have better pictures you could share?

      The main reason is to find out why my grandad was listed in 1912 as been born at Ringlands, whose mother was listed as a Lily Holland, although my grandad thought she was called Margaret.

      Any insight into his aspect would be appreciated.

      Also the store location, as the local historian thought ringlands was near there current nO 52 Stocks Hill, which is some distance away. I was aware there was another temple store further down, but even this one is well away from No 52.

  2. Hello, I lived in BH from 1947 until 1960. There are so many memories on these pages, and it is good to be able to come back time and time again – many thanks for that.
    There was a smaller shop – Temples as well – at the junction of Sunningvale Avenue and Stock Hill. The Temples vans were kept in a large garage next to this shop.

  3. My grandmother worked in temple stores for many years. She had many stories especially about stock taking. You were never allowed to get that low of any stock. Every thing was written down and listed so not to completely run out. Not like today. Oh what memories and what different times.

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